Definitions for robespierre, maximilien

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  1. Robespierre, Maximilien

    leader of the Jacobins in the French Revolution, born in Arras, of Irish origin; bred to the bar; became an advocate and a judge; he resigned because he could not brook to sentence a man to death; inspired by the gospel of Rousseau, became a red-hot Republican and an "Incorruptible" (q. v.); carried things with a high hand; was opposed by the Girondists, and accused, but threw back the charge on them; carried the mob along with him, and with them at his back procured sentence of death against the king; head of the Committee of Public Safety, he laid violent hands first on the queen and then on all who opposed or dissented from the extreme course he was pursuing; had the worship of reason established in June 1794, and was at the end of the month following beheaded by the guillotine, amid the curses of women and men (1758-1794).

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